You can’t take the second step before the first―or can you? The answer is: yes! At Frankfurt Airport, at least. Namely by advancing the construction of Pier G before the main building of Terminal 3 has been completed. It takes a long time to plan an infrastructure project of this magnitude. The first talks with the city of Frankfurt were held back in 1997. The new terminal was therefore very flexibly designed from the outset so that it could be easily adjusted later to accommodate changing conditions.In recent years, the strain on Terminals 1 and 2 had intensified as a result of steadily growing passenger volumes. The pandemic has now caused passenger figures to collapse, but the global economy and the aviation industry will eventually resume expanding. In this context, the flexible modular approach adopted for the overall project is demonstrating its worth. The decision has been made to complete Pier G (originally intended as the second phase of Terminal 3) first. As of mid-2020, work on it has already progressed to the point that it can How is COVID-19 affecting the Terminal 3 construction site? In a short interview, Christian Bierend―the overall project head for the main terminal building―talks about the challenges being faced to build Pier G and the rest of Terminal 3 in the middle of a global pandemic. be completed in 2021. The aim is for it to begin operating in 2022 if warranted; the actual date of its inauguration will be fine-tuned in response to how fast demand recovers.
The area that will be occupied by Pier G has already been used for parking aircraft since 2012. It’s therefore easy to imagine passengers leaving from here to destinations worldwide or arriving in Frankfurt. Even though Pier G is completed ahead of time, all parts of the terminal will be cast in one mold and follow the vision of Terminal 3’s architect, Christoph Mäckler. Just like the main building, Pier G will also be modern and appealing. At the same time, the new pier is designed for lean and uncomplicated processes. Passengers benefit from direct routes from check-in via security checks to boarding as well as clear guidance throughout the entire gate.
This also means full flexibility: No matter whether you are travelling within Europe or far away, from Pier G, flights are possible both in the Schengen area and to intercontinental destinations in the non-Schengen area. Travelers experience a stress-free and pleasant "Gute Reise" amidst straightforward functionality and modern design.
When airport operations begin at Pier G, work on Piers H and J and the main terminal building will continue right alongside it. Some connections to the northern part of the airport, including the planned link to the automated baggage handling system and the people mover, won’t be available for use until Terminal 3 is inaugurated. It is especially important to consistently ensure smooth transfer of transit passengers and their luggage between planes. Pier G will therefore be integrated in the airport’s important hub functions from the start. For the time being, shuttle buses spaced just a few minutes apart will circulate directly between the terminals in the north and Pier G. Suitcases, board trolleys and so on will be moved via the apron.
Pier G is the first milestone for bringing the future vision of Terminal 3 into the present. When the new terminal officially opens, it will comprise the main building and Piers G, H and J, thus also concluding the first construction phase. Frankfurt Airport is getting ready to handle the growing numbers of passengers by concurrently planning and implementing the first and second phases.
While work on the first construction phase of Terminal 3 was already in full swing in December 2018, initial preparations also began on the neighboring construction site of Pier G. Apron areas were demolished, stabilizing walls were installed and earth excavated. The first supply lines for the necessary infrastructure were also laid. In June 2019, the "ready, set, go" was given to start the construction! Construction is expected to be completed in 2021, the commissioning is planned for 2022, taking into account the demand situation. This means that the participating construction companies and their employees are about to sprint on a marathon route. They have to plan efficiently and carry out the upcoming construction steps both quickly and precisely. Everything must work together perfectly so that the finish line is reached on time.
In order to meet these tight schedules, prefabricated constructions are used. They are cast in concrete beforehand and delivered to the construction site ready for use. This allows for much faster construction progress than producing all elements on site. Columns, slabs and beams that serve to increase the load-bearing capacity of e Pier G’s ceilings are installed as finished parts. A large chain crane is used for this process.
In this way, the shell of the building grows upwards piece by piece. As soon as an area of the shell construction is completed, the installers are already in the starting blocks and begin setting up the technical installations. By mid-2020, the building services installations such as heating systems and waste water pipes in the basement are already complete and more and more technical installations are also coming into play on the first and second floors of the new pier.